Richard Rohr Impacts the Mark Centre, the Mennonites, and Maybe Millions

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and Founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An international author and spiritual leader, he teaches on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness and contemplation.

In a recent video clip for a conference on Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I Am Seeking, Rohr says that most of us believe things because our church told us to believe them, but there is something called The Univosity of Being (one voice)…

“When you speak of God, when you speak of angels, when you speak of humans, when you speak of animals, when you speak of trees, when you speak of fish, when you speak of the earth, you are using the work Being univocally . That might seems like an abstract philosophical position but I hope you can see how that creates an inclusive universe where everything is sacred where you can’t divide the world into the sacred and profane anymore. It’s over, and yet, most Christians to this day, in what was called the mainline orthodoxy still, most Christians I meet, Catholic and Protestant, still have the world divided into the sacred and the profane.”
-Richard Rohr, Franciscan Mysticism Conference preview

This is a view that basically puts the Creator and creation on a continuum which makes God susceptible to revolutionary critique by materialist science. In other words, it’s the philospher’s slippery slope towards Darwinism and atheism.  It also leans towards panentheism, the belief the universe is contained within God and that the universe is part of God (see PANENTHEISM! WHAT IS THAT?).

Rohr is also a promoter of the Cosmic Christ, whom he believes is the foundation for interfaith dialogue. He writes:

“Only a truly cosmic Christ is adequate to the breadth of our problems and the depth of our hopes today….I personally do not believe that Jesus came to found a separate religion- as much as he came to present a universal message of vulnerability and foundational unity that is necessary for all religions, the human soul, and history itself to survive.”

– July-Sept. 2002 Radical Grace, “A Cosmic Christ” by Richard Rohr.

There are other major problems with his teachings:

In January of 2008, Rohr was a “presenter” at a conference on “Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening.”5 Consistent with contemplative spirituality, Rohr taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things. Rohr taught that the teachings of both Jesus and Buddha call people to transformational honesty. He declared, “They are both teaching us how to see and how to see all the way through! They both knew that if you see God for yourself, you will see the Divine in all things.”6

Hazards unfolded by Emerging Church leaders
By Richard Bennett

In spite of these major concerns, in Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal For Listening To God by Steve and Evy Klassen of The Mark Centre (affiliated with the BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches), Steve Klassen quotes Richard Rohr on page 9 (from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See). Then on page 78 he further explains:

“…I have been able to read some of Richard Rohr’s writing and also have the privilege of meeting him on a men’s retreat. His writing and his teaching have impacted me deeply, especially in the area of meaning, purpose and identity. He said, “your importance is given and bestowed in this universe, which is the unbreakable covenant between you and your Creator. You are declared important; you cannot declare yourself important.”

-Steve Klassen, Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal for Listening to God, p 78

Does this philosophy fit with what the Bible says in regards to our importance in the universe?

Behold, thou hast made my days [as] an handbreadth; and mine age [is] as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state [is] altogether vanity. Psalm 39:5

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. Galatians 6:3

Is the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches at all concerned that the Mark Centre’s director admits to being deeply impacted by the writings and teachings of  a proponent of the “Cosmic Christ”  whose spirituality is linked with Matthew Fox – who also believes in the Cosmic Christ as well as pantheism (that God is in all things) and panentheism (that all is in God)? Should they be concerned that Steve Klassen counted it a privilege to have met a major advocate for interspirituality? Are they at all aware that Rohr’s teaching encompasses Eastern and new age fringe beliefs from gnostic mysticism to medieval metaphysics (mantra meditation, Enneagram, Univosity of Being, etc.)? Or what about Rohr’s all male retreats where men sometimes remove their clothing to release the demons (source), or that he has prayed to ‘Father Mother God’ (source), and has reportedly presided over same sex marriages? He is even on the same Vision Project list as his friend Brian McLaren. And now he has deeply influenced the author of a journal that will be used by hundreds of MB students, missionaries and pastors worldwide through the Mark Centre, whose strategy is to affect millions through contemplative spirituality.

Is anyone concerned?


The Mark Centre’s New Book

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions

Brian McLaren’s good friend Richard Rohr

Priest: ‘The boy always gets naked…’


Richard Rohr Teaching on the Ennegram

Mystic Madness: Spiraling Down into the Pit
-read how Richard Rohr (the Kything Monk) and friends represent a revival of occult mysticism within the Roman Catholic Church

Bongos, Dancers, and Father-Mother God

Dossier/documentation of Father Rohr’s disturbing teachings, tapes and writings:

Fr. Richard Rohr on “The Cosmic Christ

Panentheism! What is That?
by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 17, No. 3, May/June 2012

What is panentheism?

What is pantheism?

Brian McLaren and Fellow Visionaries

* NOTE: In the link below, notice that Starhawk (a leading practitioner of feminist Wicca (witchcraft) in the United States and teacher at ex-priest Michael Fox’s Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality) was invited to speak at the Center for Action and Contemplation, founded and directed by Richard Rohr. The CAC classes were in “Elements of Magic.”

More about Starhawk here:

Also see:



Mennonites and Christ at the Checkpoint

“Christ at the Checkpoint is primarily a public relations scheme to dissuade American evangelicals from pro-Israel views. To succeed, they will have to mount blinders on cooperatively gullible evangelicals, guiding their eyes towards disruptive Israeli checkpoints, while hiding the rest of the surrounding reality.”

-Mark Tooley of Front Page Magazine
Christ at an Israeli Checkpoint

This blog recently checked into Christ at the Checkpoint to see if any Mennonites or their associates supported or attended this event. The results were not surprising.

Christ at the Checkpoint was a peace making conference that was held a few months ago at Bethlehem Bible College, which is a Mennonite Central Committee partner. After the event, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, a program administrator for Mennonite Central Committee, promoted it by compiling some favourable quotes from the conference on the blog of MCC Palestine (see 19 Key Quotes from Christ at the Checkpoint). Other participating Mennonites included Palmer Becker (former Mennonite pastor and professor), Linford Stutzman (Eastern Mennonite University professor), three MCC Palestine workers and various student groups. Not surprisingly, an article in the Mennonite World Review also revealed  Mennonite support for the Christ at the Checkpoint event, and more…

“The program involved Israeli, Messianic Jewish and Christian Zionist voices. The dozens of diverse speakers included Ron Sider, a Mennonite theologian and peace activist, and Shane Claiborne, an author and activist who regularly speaks to Anabaptists.”

Source: Event in Holy Land faces Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The very controversial Shane Claiborne, who also spoke at last year’s Mennonite youth conference despite major objections (see Nine Churches say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Youth Conference), has voiced his supportive views on Christ at the Checkpoint, below:

An unholy wall in the Holy Land
By Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne’s 5 Great Gatherings in 2012

Brad Jersak, another speaker who has been making inroads into Mennonite circles recently (see Disappointment in the MB Herald and B.C. Mennonite Church Allowing Contemplative Spirituality to be Taught), also attended  the conference. His report of his experience at Christ at the Checkpoint can be heard on the following podcast. In the interivew he mentions that he not only “married into the Mennonites” but once believed in the rapture of the church until an MCC worker blew his eschatology grid…

Christ at the Checkpoint with Brad Jersak

Incidentally, Jersak’s personal views on his time at Christ at the Checkpoint can also be read here:

Dateline Bethlehem: 
Christ at the Checkpoint

Dateline Bethlehem: Christ at the Checkpoint Pt 3 — by Brad Jersak

Are these accurate reports? Are we to believe what these Mennonites and their friends are saying?

While these speakers and supporters echo what today’s emerging voices are saying, it seems that some VERY important truths are being over looked and ignored. Anyone more interested in fact than fiction may want to educate themselves at the following informative links in order to formulate a more balanced opinion.

Forgotten Facts at Christ at the Checkpoint

The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint
A response to the 2012 ‘Christ at the Checkpoint Conference’ can be viewed here by Dr Paul Wilkinson.

Christ at the Check Post? US Ambassador’s Report on West Bank Christians
What Stephen Sizer, Gary Burge, Colin Chapman, Lyn Hybels, Naim Ateek, Sammy & Alex Awad, Salim Munyaner and Tony Campolo Don’t Want You to Know

Messianic Jews Respond after Christ at the Checkpoint Ends

Joint statement on “Christ at the Checkpoint”

Confusion at the Checkpoint?

“Christ at the Checkpoint”
Analysis extracted from articles by Shira Sorko-Ram, Avner Boskey and Malcolm Hedding plus booklet by Paul Wilkinson

About Christian Palestinianism

So Jesus Lived in Occupied Territory?

Israeli Jews: The Impossible People at Christ at the Checkpoint

Why Would “Christ at the Checkpoint” Compare Israel to ISIS?
Oliver Melnick

MB Herald Gives Okay to Emergent Bible ‘The Voice’

There was a surprise in a recent MB Herald (April 2012) in the form of a review of a new Bible version called The Voice New Testament (by Ecclesia Bible Society). The Crosscurrents crtique, called New Translation Hits Some High Notes, seemed to base its criteria on personal preference and layout more than on who the voices are behind this retelling of Scripture. Although there was some hesitancy to give The Voice a full stamp of approval, the reviewers pointed out its many positive points: it reads as a play, makes dialogue acceptable, simplifies stories, is helpful, gives the occasional “aha!” moment, and fills a niche (somewhere between the NLT and The Message). They then concluded that it is “certainly a useful translation for newcomers or alongside other more standard versions,” giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

But here’s what the MB Herald has not told its readers about The Voice:

Unfortunately, the project turns out to be an emerging church creation, thus the foundation of it is marred from the beginning. Because mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church, The Voice is going to be a spiritually dangerous conduit for adherents. Some of the emergent leaders involved in the project are Chris Seay (project founder), Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Leonard Sweet, and Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller.


Question to LT: What about the “Voice Bible”?

Of monumental concern is Brian McLaren’s contribution to The Voice and his work on improving the books of Luke and Acts. It’s not surprising that McLaren’s approach to God’s written Word is so lighthearted that he thinks it is a production of man and therefore is open for upgrading. As he wrote in one of his many controversial books:

“Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.” (Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 162)

On McLaren’s website is a video in which he names a few others working on The Voice, calling them “great writers” (find this video here: One of these men is Greg Garrett, the author of “The Other Jesus” (Westminster John Knox Press), and here’s what it’s about:

According to recent surveys, many Americans associate the label “Christian” with judgmental attitudes, hypocrisy, fear of hell, and a committment to right-wing politics. Author Greg Garrett suggests another way, arguing that a faith that focuses solely on personal morality and the afterlife misses much of the point of Jesus’ message.
The other way of following Christ is not concerned with an array of commandments or with holding the “right” beliefs. Rather it is centered on loving each other and loving God, or as Garrett puts it, “love, where the rubber meets the road, where faith meets the world.”


Garrett is also the author of “One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter,” a book in which he thanks Rowling that “one of the most beloved stories in history” has made him a better person.

One could spend days researching all the contributors to The Voice, such as Phyllis Tickle (author of The Great Emergence), and even Phil Keaggy, who incidentally will be joining another contributor to The Voice, Lauren Winner, at an upcoming Contemplative Retreat at Laity Lodge.

These are only some of the voices behind The Voice, but this concerning aspect has not been touched on by the reviewers. Shouldn’t this sound an alarm for any discerning Christian? If they are aware of this conflict, the reviewers in the MB Herald have not revealed it, but rather seemed to infer that any possible theological squabbles are petty enough that they “would gladly use this translation as a resource for children’s ministry” and for newcomers.

What do you think? Should The Voice be given to the lambs?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15

Note: Also included in The Voice are readings for Lent and Easter (starting with Ash Wednesday).


Hear The Voice
New Bible Project for Young Generatio


Brian McLaren: A Prime Example Of Diaprax!

Brian McLaren Aligns Openly with New Age Leaders

Where Did the Emergent Church ‘Emerge’ From?

What Will Ears Hear in The Mark Centre’s New Book?

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

A new training resource offered by the Mark Centre (affiliated with the BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches) is a book written by directors 

Steve and Evy Klassen called Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal for Listening to God. The title of this workbook is four words taken from Isaiah 30:21 that are said to be the ‘watchwords’ of the Mark Centre.

The description of this book, which was written to assist people as they listen to God, informs readers that it:

“…has already received praise from international authors like Paul Hawker[1], who claims ‘Your Ears Will Hear’ offers a smorgasbord of stories and practices for seekers to draw from as they pursue their quest to hear God’s voice. In his foreword, Loren Cunningham[2], founder of Youth With A Mission[3], promises ‘You will enjoy recognizing and listening to the voice of God while working through this book.’


However, is it the praises of international authors, smorgasbords of stories, and practices that we should seek when listening for the voice of our MOST HOLY GOD? Does the Mark Centre’s book measure up to the words of scripture which they say are their ‘watchwords’?

In the beginning pages of Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal for Listening to God in a chapter called A God Who Speaks there are references to many sources other than His Word. There are quotes from authors like Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly (A Testament to Devotion) who, we are told, “understood something about God’s initiating and active presence.” There is also a quote from Eugene Peterson’s version of the Holy Bible called The Message. We are also informed in this same chapter of other “certain people who have caught a glimpse of a refreshing and wild God whose kingdom is at work everywhere and all the time,” such as Richard Rohr[4] (Catholic priest and director of The Center of Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico). The Mark Centre’s book includes a quote from Rohr’s book called The Naked Now Learning to See as the Mystics See. Another person the Mark Centre’s book points to who has ‘caught a glimpse of God’ is Barbara Brown Taylor[5], author of Alter in the World: A Geography of Faith, a book which not only opens the way to contemplative spirituality and the labyrinth but is endorsed by contemplative emergents Lauren Winner, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Jones, and Marcus Borg (of the heretical Jesus Seminar).

The Mark Centre’s book also describes 5 ways to hear God’s voice, one of which includes their ‘favourite’ approach to Scripture, Lectio Divina. (As major emphasis is placed on this method not only in their book but in Mark Centre’s retreats, please read Lectio Divina: What it is, What it is Not, and Why It is a Dangerous Practice.)

Also quoted in Your Ears Will Hear are Eugene Peterson’s The Message (p 8), Brennan Manning‘s Ruthless Trust the Ragamuffins Path to God (p 84), quaker Thomas Kelly, and Mother Teresa (“The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life.” Your Ears Will Hear, p 16). It was Mother Teresa who saidWe all belong to the same family. Hindus, Muslims and all peoples are our brothers and sisters. They too are the children of God.” (p.35, Mother Teresa, Words to Love By)

Are these the ways that God has told us in His Word to walk in? Will the terms and people named in this book offered by the Mark Centre cause some to miss the mark? If so, how many Christians will be led off course? Hopefully those who have ears to hear will listen to what the Lord is saying to His church and not what the emergent, contemplative and possibly even heretical voices are saying.


[1] Paul Hawker is an author whose inspirations for his book Soul Quest include Henri Nouwen and M. Scott Peck. This book opens with a telling quote in the Preface by Seng Tan 606 AD: “Don’t search for the truth, Just let go your opinions.” Hawker has also written Secret Affairs of the Soul and Soul Survivor.

[2] See: Loren Cunningham, YWAM and False Prophesy

[3] See: Will You Entrust Your Youth To YWAM
Articles on YWAM
What is Wrong with YWAM? Evangelism or Ecumenism – You Decide

[4] See: Richard Rohr

Brian McLaren’s good friend Richard Rohr

[5] According to former Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor’s book called Leaving the Church : A Memoir of Faith (HarperCollins 2007), since leaving her leadership position af Grace-Calvary Church (Atlanta), she feels more open to the Lakota spiritual practices that have long attracted her husband and admires the element of real risk in the Native American’s focus on direct encounters with God (chapter 15, Reader’s Guide). Barbara Brown Taylor was also listed as one of 10 SPIRITUAL SAGES
 TO WATCH IN 2009 along with ROB BELL and SHANE CLAIBORNE on David Crumm’s Read the Spirit, a new kind of media network of religion and spirituality (which also has a ‘Sharing Islam‘ section).

NOTE: Read the Spirit lists Ten 21st-Century Principles of Religious Publishing, Principle 1 being:
“It’s about the Voice, not the book.
This religious truth cuts across spiritual traditions. Our Scriptures talk about Voice, Message and Word. And, today, this principle remains profoundly true. In this new century, power lies in the message, not the specific packages, which are constantly evolving.”

*MENNO-LITE EDITOR COMMENT: Is it any coincidence that this is the interfaith message which the emerging church has recently joined with in ‘The Voice,’ a new Bible version which the MB Herald recently promoted and recommended for children?


Mennonites Reading and Quoting Thomas Kelly

Richard Rohr Impacts the Mark Centre

St. Ignatius of Loyola & St. Teresa of Avila and Agnes Sanford at a Mennonite Retreat Centre?

MB Herald Promotes Contemplative Centre, Again

B.C. Mennonite Church Allowing Contemplative Spirituality to be Taught

The Mark Centre and Lectio Divina

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions

Why are Mennonite pastors, students and missionaries being taught to sit comfortably repeating a word quietly for 20 minutes?

Mennonite Students go to Benedictine Monastery to Sit in Silence

* PLEASE NOTE: About following “Matthew 18” and first going to the authors and/or leaders of magazines or books critiqued, see THE BEREAN CALL.



Mennonite churches near the Mark Centre where this book and it’s contemplative practices have recently been introduced include:

Bakerview Church

Coast Hills Community Church

Cedar Park Church

Mountain Park Community Church

McIvor Avenue Mennonite Brehtren Church

South Abbotsford Church

Central Heights Church

UPDATE: A new women’s retreat centre influenced by the Mark Centre and this book: